by Erin Dye
Chances are that you are one of the 30 million registered Google Apps for Education (GAFE) users. You might be a super user, or you might never even have logged into your .edu account.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the information out there about Google. I’d like to point out just a few of my favorite of the thousands of GAFE resources.
1. Google 101
This video explains in just 101 seconds what GAFE is and how you can use it immediately in your classroom. You can’t beat that for a quick and thorough introduction.
This is where you would go if you wanted to pay the $60 to become a Google Certified Educator. And that’s great—I did it, and I learned a lot. Even if you’re not interested in getting certified, however, all of the training resources are free for anyone. If you’re just starting out, I recommend that you read through the Level 1 lessons on all of the basic Tools. You can go on to Level 2 and even take electives in things like Google Play, Chromebooks, and YouTube, if you want.
This mini Google site is easy to miss among the resources Google lists on its pages. However, it’s got links, resources, and step-by-step guides for everyone from new network admins to new Google teachers and students. It’s even got a guide on how to get GAFE buy-in from everyone in your school or district, including parents and the community.
I’ll stop there, because there are potentially hours of independent PD time hiding within each of those resources. These are great intros to using Google, and even if you’re not a beginner, you’ll probably find something you didn’t know in at least one of these resources. If you’re already a super Googler, what were your favorite resources when you started out? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.
Erin Dye is Manager of Consulting Services for Green Light Professional Development and a Google Certified Educator. She has extensive experience creating digital materials for interactive whiteboards and iPads. She writes about technology integration and GLPD’s work in local schools.